Colorado lawmaker mocks poverty hearing with ‘silent protest’ by bringing fried chicken
Colorado state Rep. Lori Saine (R) reportedly brought fried chicken to a hearing on poverty as a protest after a fellow lawmaker was criticized last month for blaming the diet of African-Americans and Hispanics for racial disparities in the poverty rate.
At the legislature’s Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force last month, Sen. Vicki Marble (R) had pointed to “barbecue” and “chicken” as part of the problem behind higher poverty rates for minorities.
Rep. Rhonda Fields (D) almost immediately fired back that she was not going to “engage in a dialogue where I’m in the company where you are using the stereotype references about African Americans and chicken and food and all kinds of things.”
“So I will ask that you suspend your perceptions and judgments about African Americans, about poverty — what we’re trying to do is come up with solutions and it’s not about chicken,” Fields said.
After over two weeks and a Labor Day holiday, the controversy had mostly died down — until Saine showed up at Wednesday’s hearing with a box of Popeye’s fried chicken.
KDVR’s Justin Joseph reported that one person in the room heard Saine say that she had brought the chicken in “silent protest” of the way Marble had been treated after her remarks last month.
But when Joseph tried to confront the lawmaker, he received more giggles than explanations.
“I’m having chicken for dinner,” she said. “Would you like a [press conference] at my house?”
Saine also she had “no idea” what the KDVR reporter was talking about when he referred to the controversy regarding Marble linking poverty to chicken.
Following the hearing, Fields told the station that she was not surprised.
“It’s just the same people showing their true character,” she said.
Watch the video below from KDVR, broadcast Sept. 4, 2013.
(h/t: Video Cafe)